John struggles to engage with people because of his background and disability. He was referred to SECCA for help with setting boundaries and developing skills to build healthy relationships.
SECCA has been supporting people with disability, and their significant carers, for 30 years.
In the beginning
Sexuality Education Counselling and Consultancy Agency (SECCA) was founded in 1991 by a small group of professionals working in the wellbeing sector, whose own lives involved people with disability. This group identified a gap in education and therapeutic support for people with disability regarding their sexuality and relationships.
From a Lotteries Commission of WA grant came a two year collaboration with the Family Planning Association of Western Australia (FPWA) to provide education, counselling and consultancy services for people with an intellectual disability, their families and carers.
In 1994, this agency moved to FPWA’s Northbridge offices and became the ‘People First Program’, still operating today.
SECCA continued to grow independently, as a training and counselling agency, with funding from the Disabilities Services Commission. We trained mainstream service providers to work with people with a disability in the area of human relationships and sexuality, and provided direct education and counselling services to individuals with a disability, plus their families and carers.
In 1997, overwhelming demand for SECCA services saw the DSC commission a review of all human relationship and sexuality education services in WA, which led to increased and continuing funding for SECCA.
In 1999 SECCA moved to its current location at City West Lotteries House.
Growing to meet demand
With State Government support, SECCA continued to grow, providing niche services to Western Australians living with disability. We helped expand individual’s knowledge and understanding of issues relating to sexuality and healthy relationships, with a view to increasing safety, autonomy and life-enriching experiences.
Staff grew to a small strong team with a passion for advocacy and education, allowing SECCA to provide educational workshops and training for those supporting people with disability. We began to develop our own resources to ensure factual, current information was easily accessible.
The SECCA App
In 2018, SECCA launched the SECCA App, a free innovative resource accessible via our website to all those seeking to learn and teach about relationships and sexuality. This resource was the first of its kind and allows educators, carers, service providers and family members unprecedented support in teaching sexuality and its many topics to people of all abilities, across the life span.
With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the disability sector saw radical transformation. The Scheme’s intent to better meet the needs of Australians living with disability is a major development in Australia’s service provision. It has naturally been challenging for the sector, and individuals, as we all move to a new model, and it promises greater outcomes going forward. For SECCA, it has meant an upgrade of our systems to ensure a streamline experience for our clients with the usual highest level of service delivery.
In 2021, SECCA moved to larger premises, allowing for growth to meet the continuing high demand for our specialised services.
Our commitment to enriching the lives of people with disability through education and therapeutic support has never been stronger.
The first step is to complete a referral form. Anyone can submit a referral form on behalf of an individual seeking counselling. Please be aware we have a wait list due to high demand and the impact of COVID 19.
SECCA has worked hard to ensure that the introduction of the NDIS is as seamless as possible. For information on accessing SECCA’s services under NDIS funding please follow the link.